November 14 Philadelphia Inquirer:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – For one half Saturday, Matt McGloin was living up to his newfound fame, dissecting the opponent’s secondary and giving Penn State an unlikely 11-point lead at a stunned Ohio Stadium.
Then reality reared its head. Ohio State played like the nation’s No. 8 team in the second half while the Nittany Lions played like the team that had started the season 3-3. And McGloin crashed back to earth, throwing a pair of interceptions that the home team returned for touchdowns.
So the wave of success recently enjoyed by the Lions vanished faster than steak at a football dinner, disappearing under a Buckeyes onslaught that gave them a 38-14 Big Ten Conference win in front of a delighted crowd of 105,466.
Penn State’s winning streak ended after three games. And the Nittany Lions (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten) found themselves on the wrong side of the second 35-point swing with which they had been involved in two weeks.
Instead of the Lions rallying from 21-0 down to defeat Northwestern, 35-21, this was the Buckeyes (9-1, 5-1) scoring 35 unanswered points – all in the second half – to pull away after trailing by 14-3 at the break.
“Things were looking good for us,” running back Evan Royster said. “But I don’t know how things changed so quickly. It was just like that. It’s tough to change the momentum back once you lose it.”
McGloin, the former walk-on who had become a feel-good story nationally, showed himself to be human.
The redshirt sophomore hit 12 of his first 15 passes. During that time, he had a run of nine straight completions that included touchdown throws to Justin Brown and Derek Moye.
However, after missing his final two throws of the first half, he suffered through a miserable 3-for-13 second half that included a pair of “pick sixes,” by Ohio State’s Devon Torrence (34 yards) and Travis Howard (30).
“I think they did a couple of things a little better,” Penn State coach Joe Paterno said of the Buckeyes. “I think [McGloin] got a little bit too anxious. I don’t know; I’ll have to take a look at the tapes and talk to him. But I think that’s what usually happens with a young guy.”
McGloin credited the Buckeyes with making adjustments at halftime.
“We tried to play the game out and keep control of the ball,” he said, “but unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that. Their defense stepped up when they needed to.”
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